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ADA, Okla. - Coach Jesse Parker and Glenn Custar have been named the recipients of the 2023 Milam Award.

The Milam Award is presented annually by ECU to a former Tiger football player who not only excelled in the classroom and on the gridiron, but also distinguished themselves in their chosen career. The award is named in honor of Joe Milam, a former educator and coach for ECU. This year the Milam Award will be presented at the ECU Alumni Gala on Friday, Sept. 22.

Coach Jesse Parker is a 1963 graduate of East Central State College who played successfully under head coach, Elvan George. After earning his degree, Parker would go on to an illustrious career as a nationally recognized football coach and educator. His teams won five state titles over the years and he finished his career with 309 wins and was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association in 2011.

Jesse Parker
Jesse Parker is a 1963 graduate of East Central State College

Parker passed away at the age of 77 in 2017, he was married to his wife Latsy, whom he attended ECU with, for 55 years. They have a daughter, Kathy Parker, two sons Robert Parker (Terri) and Jonathan Parker and six grandchildren.

Glenn Custar, also receiving the Milam award this year, is a 1964 graduate of ECSC who also played successfully under head coach Elvan George who Custar refers to as an Oklahoma legend. After graduating from ECU, Custar joined the Marine Corps and played football for the Quantico Marines for two years. He would go on to serve a tour in Vietnam and spend the next 28 years continuing to serve the Marines before retiring as a Colonel.


Glenn Custer
Glenn Custar is a 1964 graduate of East Central State College

Custar and his wife, Kathy, have been married for 53 years. They have an oldest son, Mike Custar, a daughter, Kelly Custar, and their youngest son, Brian Custar.  They also have 8 grandchildren and a great grandchild on the way.

 “Jesse was my lifetime friend,” Custar stated about his time at ECU with Parker, “He was a year ahead of me but we formed a friendship on the field.” Both Custar and Parker would carry the comradery they formed at ECU until Parker’s passing.

“ECU is honored to recognize these two outstanding alumni and their accomplishments with the 2023 Milam Award,” stated ECU’s Athletic Director Matthew Cole, “Jesse Parker and Glenn Custar embody what it means to be a Tiger and they each represent exactly what this award is meant to be for.”

Registration is available for the 2023 ECU Alumni Gala Dinner & Dance that will be held on Friday, Sept. 22 in the Chickasaw Business Center located on campus.

To register, go to or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 580-559-5651 or email for more information.

Tickets are $30 for individuals and $50 for couples. Registration for the Gala closes on Friday, Sept. 15.

Reception for the gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner and dancing following at 7 p.m., along with the recognition of the Milam Award winners and scholarship recipients.

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